German Narratives of Belonging
Writing Generation and Place in the Twenty-First Century

Linda Shortt

Germanic Literatures 4

Legenda

8 June 2015  •  146pp

ISBN: 978-1-907975-88-2 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-315093-63-5 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

ContemporaryGermanFiction


Since unification, German culture has experienced a boom in discourses on generation, family and place. Linda Shortt reads this as symptomatic of a wider quest for belonging that mobilises attachment to counter the effects of postmodern deterritorialisation and globalisation. Investigating twenty-first century narratives of belonging by Reinhard Jirgl, Christoph Hein, Angelika Overath, Florian Illies, Juli Zeh, Stephan Wackwitz, Uwe Timm and Peter Schneider, Shortt examines how the desire to belong is repeatedly unsettled by disturbances of lineage and tradition. In this way, she combines an analysis of supermodernity with an enquiry into German memory contests on the National Socialist era, 1968 and 1989 that continue to shape identity in the Berlin Republic. Exploring a spectrum of narratives that range from agitated disavowals of place to romances of belonging, this study illuminates the topography of belonging in contemporary Germany.

Linda Shortt is Lecturer in German at the School of Modern Languages, Bangor University.

Reviews:

  • ‘The texts are frequently autobiographical, consisting of diary entries and lived family experience. Methodological approaches range from feminist, memory and cultural studies to humanist geography, engaging with the writers’ often experimental use of language. This book will appeal to all those interested in contemporary German literature and identity.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 52.2, 2016, 239-40
  • ‘A helpful overview and nuanced discussion of literary, essayistic, and autobiographical texts that explore the multiple obstacles — historical, social, political, familial, global — complicating or curtailing the human desire to belong, but that also ponder new forms of fluid or changing attachments in contemporary society.’ — Friederike Eigler, GegenwartsLiteratur 16, 2016, 350-51
  • ‘In this slim and rich volume, Linda Shortt analyzes narratives of belonging in post-Wende German literature that represent a variety of generations, attitudes towards belonging (e.g., longing or anxiety), and relationships with German-speaking regions... This excellent book provides much food for thought.’ — Alexandra M. Hill, Monatshefte 109.1, 2017, 175-77
  • ‘Shortt offers an engaging and convincing interrogation of belonging as a flexible and resilient concept in contemporary literature. In addressing how belonging shifts across generations and responds to change, she demonstrates new negotiations of belonging that move beyond the conceptual constraints imposed by Heimat. In doing so, Shortt articulates a concept that undoubtedly has a greater relevance beyond the texts under consideration and the immediate concerns of contemporary German Studies.’ — Richard McLelland, Modern Language Review 112.3, July 2017, 753-54 (full text online)

Bibliography entry:

Shortt, Linda, German Narratives of Belonging: Writing Generation and Place in the Twenty-First Century, Germanic Literatures, 4 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2015)

First footnote reference: 35 Linda Shortt, German Narratives of Belonging: Writing Generation and Place in the Twenty-First Century, Germanic Literatures, 4 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2015), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Shortt, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Shortt, Linda. 2015. German Narratives of Belonging: Writing Generation and Place in the Twenty-First Century, Germanic Literatures, 4 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Shortt 2015: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Shortt 2015: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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